|Dinshaw Mehta, Chairman of the Bombay Parsi Punchayet, with Arvind Mayaram, IAS, Secretary - Ministry of Minority Affairs, at a meeting with Parsi representatives in Mumbai on November 20, 2014|
The will to live
“Do you have the will to live?” asked Arvind Mayaram repeatedly.
The very erudite and insightful Secretary of the Ministry of Minority Affairs (MOMA), Government of India, was met members of the Parsi community earlier last week in Mumbai to understand why the population crisis afflicts the community so.
As he kept repeating the above question, at strategically timed intervals, it struck us that he needed to repeat it so often because affirmation wasn’t entirely forthcoming.
The will to live ought to be pretty elementary. But, for the Parsi community facing extinction, is it really so? For if it were, would we be on a suicidal path?
What the Parsis appear to have is the will to fight – with each other and to the finish! We also have the will to disgrace ourselves with ugly spats that the mainstream media preys on with relish.
We have the will to exult in our eccentricities, feast on our bhonu, live lives of reasonable privilege in our Baugs and bask in the glory that being Parsi bestows upon us by virtue of birth.
But do we have the will to excel with integrity and without compromise the way our forefathers overwhelmingly did?
Do we have the will to contribute to the nation and pursue a philanthropic mission that encompasses all deserving causes?
Do we have the will to steer the young on the propitious course of marriage within the fold at an early age, in order to prioritise family life?
Do we have the will to make the right decisions that will not precipitate our multifarious crises?
In short, do we really have the will to live? This is a question that merits much soul searching.